Prov 17:22

A merry heart doeth good like a medicine... - Proverbs 17:22

Thursday, May 30, 2013

The Goodest City in Canada

Maybe you’ve seen the video. LG Canada went out to discover the “goodest” city in Canada. They conducted a test in major cities from Vancouver to Halifax, asking random passers-by if they could spare twenty minutes to help move a load of brand new appliances and electronics into an apartment. Those who helped got to keep all the stuff, but of course they didn’t know that until after the fact. 

How would you have done?

I’m afraid I would have failed miserably. I can already hear the excuses in my head. Sorry, I’ll be late for work. Sorry, I have an appointment. Sorry, I have a bad back. Sorry, I have to rotate my socks.

On the inside, it would sound more like this: who asks strangers to move their stuff? Why didn’t they think ahead? What kind of scam is this? Somebody wants to lure me up to their apartment and hack me to pieces.

I’d probably grip my purse a little tighter. Walk away a little faster. 

Unless, of course, I was with my husband who helps anyone at the drop of a hat. With his one arm, he’d heft the trolley and guide the washing machine expertly through the door and up the stairs while I shot him my best “are you insane?” look. 

He’s like that.

Author Rick Warren says in order to practice kindness, we must learn to be spontaneous. “On some occasion you may have thought, I need to make that phone call or I need to send a little gift or I want to take something over to the neighbors. Then you may have delayed doing the kind deed. And you kept delaying until you were so embarrassed that you didn’t do it.”

Why are those thoughts so easy to ignore? Galatians 6:10 says, “As we have opportunity, let us do good to all men…”

Sometimes we are blind to opportunities right in front of us, numb to those little nudges. The person who could use our help loses, but we forget that we lose, too.

In 1970, Glen Campbell recorded the hit that said:
“If you see your brother standing by the road
With a heavy load …
You got to try a little kindness
Yes, show a little kindness
Just shine your light for everyone to see
And if you try a little kindness
Then you’ll overlook the blindness
Of narrow-minded people on the narrow-minded streets.”

So, how did Canada do? Well, at least we here in Manitoba didn’t come in dead last. Toronto took the honour of least good, where only 19% of those approached agreed to help. Winnipeg did slightly better at 24%. Calgary showed us up at 41%. But the goodest city in the country, as declared by LG Canada, is Fredericton, New Brunswick, where 81% pitched in. Congratulations, Fredericton!

Want to do better at this kindness thing? Rick Warren challenges readers to make a list of seven people to whom you want to show kindness. Then look for opportunities to be kind to at least one of those people each day for a week. As one of those narrow-minded people Campbell sang about, I’m taking the challenge. Who knows? Maybe it will become a habit. Or at least another column.

Anybody care to join me? I’d love to hear how it turns out!

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